Dear Julien … Letters to my second son.

Friday, 16th September, 2005

6 Week Checkup

Filed under: Checkups,General,Progress,Year 1 — Beth @ 16:30

Julien reached his 6th week yesterday and had his checkup and first round of shots today. He was tired and hungry and cried a lot, but was otherwise relaxed for the appointment. He nursed and fell asleep as soon as we were through.

His stats:

Weight: 11lbs 4oz
Height: 22 3/8 in
Head Circumference: 38.25 cm

His numbers are very close to Vic’s from the same age, but he carries his weight very differently!

Wednesday, 14th September, 2005


Filed under: General,Progress,Year 1 — Beth @ 15:07

Julien is smiling this week. We saw a few sleep smiles in weeks past, but this week, he’s started to smile as a response to interaction with us. The corners of his mouth start to turn up in a grin when I make faces at him or tickle his chin. He also smiles in deep satisfaction, after having a good meal. It’s very funny and quite reminiscent of his Dad.

He’s had a few nights where he’s slept a bit longer. His longer sleep stretch is usually from around 8pm until after midnight. I try to get as much sleep as possible then, though Vic isn’t usually ready to go to sleep until a bit later, so I lose at least an hour out of Julien’s sleep. After 2am or so, we get into what I’m starting to think of as the ‘hellish zone’. Julien wakes up after a shorter sleep for a top up, then doesn’t quite settle fully back down to sleep. He moves around a lot, grunts, snuffles and otherwise makes a lot of noise. Vic is usuually going through a major dream cycle between 3am and 6am as well, so both boys alternate waking up and needing cuddling or nursing to get re-settled. It’s a busy time for me, and one that often finds me burying my head into the pillows with frustration about having just gotten myself and Julien back to sleep only to get woken up again by a vociferous request for a drink from the pre-schooler.

I took a very long nap today – slept most of the afternoon away, and feel a lot better for it. If we keep having nights that follow that pattern, I may need to take a day off every few days, to take a nap and re-charge or I’m going to be useless at work.

And Julien just brightened up my day by smiling big at me when I turned him around and talked nonsense at him. His neck-strength is getting better and better by the day – he’s really strong and much further along with holding his head up than Vic was at the same age. It surprises me sometimes when I pick him up and he immediately lifts his head up on his own steam and looks -right- at me. I’m going to miss my days spent with him, but hope that Sabs will enjoy mornings bonding with his son before he has to go to work.

Sunday, 4th September, 2005

1 Month

Filed under: General,Progress,Year 1 — Beth @ 22:55

Today, Julien is 1 month old. The time has just flown by since his birth and I look down at the chubby month-old infant curled up on my chest and have to blink a few times. Where did the itty bitty little newborn of a month ago, go?

Children never grow as fast as they do during their first year, and the first month of that first year is a pretty amazing span of time, as short as it is. Physically, Julien has gone from being a compact bundle with the ‘little old man’ or ‘froggy’ look about him, to a solid armful of round-cheeked baby. He’s completed this transformation even more quickly than his big brother did – even his hands have plumped out and have dimples where his knuckles will be. He’s uncurled almost completely, though he still likes to tuck his legs up under him, buddha style. This is especially cute when he’s got on his orange sack gown.

Developmentally speaking, he’s still supposedly working on focusing on things better and tracking them with his eyes, except that he’s been pretty good at that from rather early on. He seems to be able to see all the way across the room already, because he looks up at me when I come into the room and he’ll ‘watch’ TV briefly when something of interest to him comes on. He’s starting to try to coordinate his limbs so he can reach for things, but it’ll be a while longer before he gets there. Right now, it’s just determined, semi-directed flailing.

Rolling over, holding his head up and smiling are all in the works as well. Sometimes when I put him down on his tummy, or have him up against my shoulder, I catch him with the most determined and focused look on his face as if he just -knows- that he needs to be trying things out and he just -has- to do them because he really wants to be able to look up and around at that Big Person who is so interesting to him. (That would be Victor who is always zinging by at 60 mph).

The rolling and smiling will probably come first – we’ve had some near-smiles already accompanied by bright “Yeaaaaaah!” sounds of delight. Rolling will take more work, but Jules is hard at work on it, going from his back to his side to his tummy so far, but no complete rolls. He just doesn’t like being on his back very much, and leans up onto his side in his sleep and when set down anywhere. From there it’s a flop over onto his belly from time to time, though he seems to vastly prefer being on his side. I’m pondering a new sleep-positioner for him for when he’s sleeping in the crib – no worries about when he’s in with me, then he’s all about using the crook of my elbow as a pillow, just like his big brother.

It’s been a wild ride of course, as with any newborn, but also a very happy one, this first month with Julien in our family. Here’s to many, many, many, more.

Saturday, 3rd September, 2005


Filed under: General,Progress,Year 1 — Beth @ 16:04

It’s been a busy few weeks, rife with lack of sleep and growth spurts. I’m pretty sure that Julien has passed the 9lb mark at this point and he’s eating like crazy.

Today, he’d just finished a 20+ minute feeding when he demanded more. This after a morning spent napping in 15-30 minute increments with seeming non-stop snacking. So we gave him a bottle of formula and he drank 2.5 ounces of the stuff on top of the 4ish ounces he’d already gotten out of me.

Man alive the boy sure can eat a lot for only being a month old.

I’ve been organizing all of my photographs as well and looking through old ones of Vic at the same age, I’m finding myself stunned by how much Julien looks like his big brother. I’m editing the shots down and I’ll post them soon to give you an idea of what I mean. It’s just a little bit scary.

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